In keeping with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s commitments to interfaith relations and peace, the denomination will host an International Peacemaker’s Day celebration and launch a month-long interfaith art exhibit on October 2.
“Pilgrimage to Peace: An Interfaith Celebration Honoring the Journey of Peacemakers” will take place from 6–7 p.m. at the Presbyterian Center Chapel in Louisville. It is sponsored by the PC(USA) Office of Interfaith Relations in Theology and Worship, in partnership with the Louisville-based interreligious nonprofit Interfaith Paths to Peace.
Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and people from a wide range of religious traditions have been invited to participate, and an opportunity for fellowship will be available in a reception following the event.
The celebration also kicks off the interfaith art exhibit “A Pilgrim Lens,” which will be on display in the Presbyterian Center cafeteria through October. It features photographs of sacred sites and places from various religious traditions around the world taken by Terry Taylor, executive director of Interfaith Paths to Peace.
“Calling this celebration ‘Pilgrimage to Peace’ recognizes that peace is hard won. It’s courageous work,” said Christine J. Hong, the PC(USA)’s associate for theology, interfaith, relations. “The path to peace is a pilgrimage that can both wound and mend the heart of the peacemaker.”
“Both the interfaith gathering and the photo exhibit highlight this journey within different religious traditions, including our own,” Hong said. “The PC(USA) maintains its commitment to building bridges in partnership with others, and is pleased to continue this work locally,” she said.
“… God invites us to walk with Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and followers of other religions … to befriend the rejected, invite in the alienated, offer love without qualification, and set people free from fears and animosities that set us apart,” the 209th General Assembly (1997) said (Minutes 1997, Part I, p. 437).
Taylor said “International Peacemaker’s Day is a tradition that started several years ago and that October 2 is Gandhi’s birthday.” “We gather as an interfaith community here in Louisville to honor those who have devoted their lives, and in some cases given their lives, in the name of peace,” he said. October 2 also is recognized as International Day of Nonviolence.
For more information, contact Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org.